Radiocarbon dating of diamonds
The most common oxidation state of carbon in inorganic compounds is 4, while 2 is found in carbon monoxide and transition metal carbonyl complexes.The largest sources of inorganic carbon are limestones, dolomites and carbon dioxide, but significant quantities occur in organic deposits of coal, peat, oil, and methane clathrates.Carbon generally forms four covalent bonds with other atoms in larger molecules.Atomic number 6; atomic weight 12.011; sublimation point above 3,500°C; boiling point 4,827°C; specific gravity of amorphous carbon 1.8 to 2.1, of diamond 3.15 to 3.53, of graphite 1.9 to 2.3; valence 2, 3, 4."Mr Hirst may not have intended to be insensitive with his new work, but the fact is it will have a profound effect on many people who will find the subject deeply disturbing." Set with more than 8,000 diamonds by the royal jewellers Bentley & Skinner, the skull will go on show later this month at the Gagosian gallery's exhibition space in Hong Kong and is expected to go on display in London later this year. Jude Tyrrell, the director of Science Ltd, Hirst's main art-production company, said: "Of course it's a delicate subject, but this is from an old collection, which we think is Victorian, and they were obsessed with collecting all sorts of bizarre things.
Roger Sclare, the owner of the taxidermy business Get Stuffed, which provided Hirst with the first skull, said: "Infants' skulls are rare, but they do occasionally come up for sale if a museum or old teaching hospital who may have had them in their stock has a clear out.
When you look at a skull, you think it represents the end, but when you see the end so beautiful, it gives you hope.
"Diamonds are about perfection and clarity and wealth and sex and death and immortality.
Carbon forms a vast number of compounds, more than any other element, with almost ten million compounds described to date, The allotropes of carbon include graphite, one of the softest known substances, and diamond, the hardest naturally occurring substance.
It bonds readily with other small atoms including other carbon atoms, and is capable of forming multiple stable covalent bonds with suitable, multivalent atoms.
Its first four ionisation energies, 1086.5, 2352.6, 4620..7 k J/mol, are much higher than those of the heavier group 14 elements.